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Ranting a bit today

May 1st, 2012 1 comment

I’ve tried to stay away from ranting and since I’ve been taking a hiatus from the hobby my blog isn’t that popular any more so I can rant away.

I had a friend.  Note the verb tense.  The “last straw” was my fault and I admit it.  The several bales of hay before that were him not making any real effort to be my friend but being there just enough to keep me thinking it would happen.  Anyway.

He’s a painter and a pretty good one.  Personally I think he’s reached his limit.  Everyone has them, he’s reached his, he just doesn’t know it.  I’m hoping the next major competition will be that wake-up call since all the local competitions are dominated by a small group and these are the same people who judge the contest.  They’re also part of his regular painting group.  No ego stroking going on there.

When he would still talk to me he would ask my opinion about his works in progress.  I had to ask him just how much critique he wanted and it was never very much.  That says a lot.  I’ve been told I paint just as well or better than he does but since I don’t care for competitions he had no way to “prove” he was the better painter.  So I would give him fluff critique and he would go away happy.

Now he’s got a blog and he’s got one person who always posts the “ZOMG you’re amazing!!!!one!!” comments on anything he puts up.  He’s getting the attitude since he’s got a fanboi.  He’s been doing army painting and his paint quality shows it.

So why am I ranting about this person?  Because he’s my personal whipping boy for the “I don’t want someone to give me an honest opinion.  I want you to tell me I’m good and pet my ego.” painters now.  I’m tired of seeing decent paint jobs praised like they’re museum quality works of art that could never be improved and the painters lapping it up.  I’m tired of seeing the judges in painting competitions all know each other and judging their groups’ work on a softer scale than people they don’t know or don’t like.  I’m tired of seeing the same people winning competition after competition because it discourages other painters from entering.

There used to be a Masters category at the local cons.  Win “Best In Show” and you were automatically upped to that level.  Win a certain number of first place trophies and you were upped to that level.  I’ve always felt that was important because it opened up the playing field for aspiring painters since they weren’t always going to lose to the big guys.  As soon as my whipping boy won Best In Show he changed the way the painting contest ran so that they went to open judging.

Now I rant about open judging.  For those who don’t know what it is here’s a synopsis.  No trophies – you’re judged against some arbitrary scale and given a medal based on your own abilities on that scale, separate from anyone else.  In theory this sounds great but it means that you’re now painting for the judges and what they consider “worthy”.  I prefer the honesty of a trophy competition where you’re competing against other painters.  I want to see the best paint job for that competition.  I don’t want to see 3 bronze medals, 5 silver and 2 gold.  It means nothing to me as a spectator since no one wins.

My whipping boy didn’t want to compete against the other painters in his class so he changed the judging method so he didn’t have to do so.  I find that weak.  Very, very weak.  He’s complained about the declining number of entries in the local competitions for a while then he changed the judging so most people didn’t understand it and had even less reason to enter since they didn’t get a trophy.  It’s great for the handful of people who compete in nationals and have won major awards.  It’s confusing and kind of disappointing for the rest of the people.

In summary – I’m tired of people who don’t want honest critique when they ask for it.  I’m tired of seeing the same people win competitions, both local and national.  I’m tired of people manipulating the system so that they don’t have to compete against their peers.  I’m tired of fanbois and the attitude they create.  I’m just tired of a lot of things but these are the high points.

Comment if you’ve got stories to share or your own thoughts on the subject.

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Where’s the new stuff?

April 20th, 2011 No comments

Um, there isn’t any?

As posted previously I’ve been working more on getting my apartment in order.  That’s still the case.  I hit a bit of a slump but will get back on it soon enough.  I can’t stand looking at the disorder much longer.

I’m also almost finished selling things on eBay (yay bidding wars!) so that means I can get rid of the boxes really soon as well.

I might have another week off when I can focus on getting this all done and not whine any more.  Without the pressure of trying to organize I will be able to relax and have fun.

There’s a very, very good chance I’ll be spending a week in AZ for work and I’ll bring the 15mm with me since I’ll probably have evenings with nothing much to do.  Might as well paint minis.  Now that I’ve got my portable light it’s practical.  Trying to paint using hotel lamps is just silly.

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Getting so much closer!

April 14th, 2011 No comments

So I emptied more boxes, one more plastic bin and took a box of things over to the thrift store.  That *should* be the last of it, except for the Christmas stuff.  But I knew that.

I did find the last 2 boxes of things my dad brought up years ago and went through them.  One of them was baby stuff so that was easy to put in the thrift store box.  The other one had all kinds of old birthday cards, report cards and other miscellaneous clippings from when I was growing up.  It was interesting to read over the old report cards.  Seems like more than a few of my teachers were frustrated that I got good grades without much effort.  Back in the day they graded those separately – achievement and effort.  So I’d get an A in achievement but a B or so in effort.  Um, if I’m getting an A does it really matter that it was easy for me?  I had a lot of “could apply herself to excel” in the comments.  And the standardized test results always had me way up in the 90th percentiles.  I think my lowest was a 92.

Regardless it’s done.  I have the rest of the things to put on eBay and a couple of things to put on Craigslist.  I did put 2 of them up today – hot press embossing film rolls that my mom had (great for crafts!) and my wedding dress.  It was time.  It’s been cleaned and packed in a box for years and I’ve moved it around out here without quite knowing what to do with it.  I removed the veil from the really spiffy hairclip so I have that to wear.  But the dress is simply taking up room and I would rather someone else use it.

With the dress and the 3 large plastic bins of Christmas things gone (I think I’ll end up with one large-ish bin left) my storage closet will have more than enough room for the things I want to put in there.  And when that happens I can say my life has been tidied up as much as it can be, my apartment is as uncluttered as I can make it and that I’m done sorting through my life.

I’ve been very, very good about not accumulating more.  Unless I have an immediate need for something it doesn’t get purchased.  If I have to dust it, I don’t need it.  That’ really helps keep the clutter down.

With the new way I have the dining area I can finally move the dog crate from the end of the couch to tucked in front of the washer/dryer next to the paint table.  It really opens up the space and I can leave the door open for the dogs if they want to curl up in there.  It opened up the room nicely.

I still have a pretty good sized stack of empty (broken down) boxes and until I’m done with the rearranging stuff I’m holding onto them.  It would really be annoying to give them away and then find out I need a couple of boxes.  I don’t think it’s going to happen because of all the empty plastic bins I have now but I will be mailing out all the things from eBay and some of them are bulky enough to justify using smaller boxes.

To recap.  The last of the boxes of personal items have been sorted.  The last box of things has gone to the thrift store.  Auctions are continuing for things of value I no longer need or want.  Craigslist is being used for the items best sold locally.  The Christmas items will be sorted and purged, just not quite yet.

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Decisions, decisions

March 24th, 2011 No comments

I pared down my hobby supplies a LOT in the first move, not so much in the second, and somewhat while I’m doing this unpacking.  That means the very questionable stuff is long gone.

Now I’m dealing with “The Rest”.  I have supplies for building larger pieces of terrain, but I’m not really building larger pieces of terrain.  So do I store them, if I have room, or do I donate/sell them and deal with possibly replacing as needed?

Overall I’m doing really well at condensing and sorting out various craft supplies.  I’m on the prowl for a plastic 7 drawer storage unit since 4 of the drawers are shallow and therefore are useful.  I already have plans for the deeper ones.  I hope to have one this weekend and can do the closet rearranging to make it fit.  Then I would certainly have space for the stuff.  I think I have room for a lot of it in the new storage units.

The real question is whether or not I should keep these things with no clear purpose in mind.  I’m keeping all the tools so that’s not even a question.  I can replace supplies easily enough.  Replacing tools is more difficult.

I want to get this settled this weekend so that the boxes/bins are out of my living room.  They’re currently residing there because I moved them out of the second bedroom/sewing room/computer room so I could sort them out and be done with them.  And I’m very tired of seeing boxes in my living room.

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OK then

October 6th, 2010 No comments

Photos all got moved before Vox shut down so everything should be good to go here.  I’ll try to update things as I go but right now there isn’t a lot of action on the miniatures front.  Too busy settling into the new apartment and new job.  And the paint table is up but not usable!  Not fair!

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OK – not quite transitioned yet

September 18th, 2010 No comments

I was poking around and I found that the photos still seem to be over on Vox so I need to move them somewhere that won’t be going away soon.  I’m surprised the migration didn’t take this into account.

More work ahead.

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Just what I needed

February 25th, 2010 No comments

That was kind of sarcasm.

The gaming group is really, really, really into historical gaming.  Napoleonics games to be specific.  And everyone seems to be painting up an army for the Lasalle rule set.  I was being good until I was handed a bag of crack early French so now I'll be painting up 15mm figures.  From what I've heard painting the 28/32mm stuff after painting 15mm is a piece of cake.

I also played my first game of Lord of the Rings this weekend.  That's another game the group is playing.  It's a fun skirmish system and I'll have to play a few more times to get a real feel for things.  The group has a couple of club armies so I don't have to invest right away.  Ditto on being loaned the rule book.

Tonight I'm going cold into a Meetup group for crafts.  It's a "stitch 'n bitch" meeting at a wine bar/coffee shop in downtown.  I think I'm going to stick to chai latte because I'm bringing tatting and that requires counting.  Wine and counting don't always work well together.

The apartment is in a holding state until I can get a few things and then take the time to start really sorting out the stuff in the small bedroom.  Of course that means the lack of boxes I've achieved in the living/dining room will be obliterated as I use that as a sorting area.  I can't win.  But I'm also not letting the stacks of boxes prevent me from inviting people over.  If I wait until things are done I'll be waiting a long time.

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I’m here!

February 7th, 2010 1 comment

So I made it to my new home.  As with the rest of the move all the pieces came together nicely so that I'm now sitting here surrounded by all my stuff.  And I already unpacked things that I packed merely days earlier.

Obviously it's gonna take me a while to get things in order.  I'm not going to rush this because I have a basic functionality set up and don't plan on inviting guests over immediately.  Ditto on buying new furniture (like, my combo computer desk/paint area).  I planned on waiting and can use the pieces I brought with me just for that reason.

On the negative side the kitchen is far smaller than anticipated.  This does not bode well for someone with a number of handy small appliances.  I'll probably set up a small shelf unit in the (small) storage closet for the ones I use less often.

Today I will have to hit the store to get a couple of essential items.  One was missed during the move and the other was easier to replace than to bring with.  I'll be window shopping for other things as well.  Setting up a new home can be fun!

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A bit of a positive post, for a change

December 21st, 2009 1 comment

I've been a tad on the distracted and negative side lately and anyone who knows what's going on is being pretty understanding.  For those who don't know just bear with me for a while longer and I'll be my normal cheery (hah!) self again.

Today was an unexceptional day.  I got some stuff done, I gave away some things (the last one is still sitting on the front stairs waiting for a new home), I packed up the car so I can stop at the thrift store on the way to work and give them more stuff, got the shopping done, and then came home to make cherry jello, brownies and tidy up the kitchen afterward.

Doesn't sound like an exciting day, does it?  Well that's kind of what I'm after for a while.  I've set myself a deadline for getting things done around here and that's done a surprising amount to perk me up.  I think having a goal to achieve is going to help.

I'm still not doing any hobby stuff but I'm ok with that for a short time.  With any luck I won't have to use down time to do hobbies since it will be UP time.  I know that doesn't make much sense but trust me, it will.

On a funny note one of the dogs has finally learned how to 'play'.  Mimi never really seemed to know how to play but in the last couple of weeks she's started taking squeaky toys away from Muffy.  Then the two of them play together seeing who can take the squeaky toy and run away.  It's fun to listen to but I can't go watch because as soon as Mimi sees me she stops playing and wants me to pay attention to her.  Hearing the squeaking, the growling and the skittering feet makes me smile.

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I’m stealing Rob’s posting method again

June 24th, 2009 No comments

I've got a variety of unconnected updates so I'll just use Rob's Bullet Method(tm).

  • I'm a complete painting slacker.  My arena pieces and the leezards are just sitting on the paint table collecting dust.
  • My friend is making a swing lamp holder like the Illinois painting group uses (which he also made) so there's a good chance of getting decent light at paint night soon.
  • My friend likes to over-engineer so there's glue, epoxy and wood screws in the swing lamp holder.
  • Thanks George.
  • My hope is that better light at paint night will bring in more painters.  And help the ones that show up all the time improve their skills.  Everyone can always improve their skills.
  • I'm a communication junkie.  I've been corresponding with a few people and when I don't have at least one e-mail waiting for me in the morning I get sad.
  • Overhead lights + halogen floor lamp + iron set on high = room gets hot.
  • I've been sewing.  Check out the FashionAeons blog over to your right if you're at all interested.
  • Roomba is modified but the battery hasn't liked the on again-off again usage.  New battery is in the mail.
  • I have absolutely zero willpower when it comes to new hobby tools and fabric stores.  None.  Nada.  Zip.
  • The new version of Reaper's Warlord rules is at the printer and I need to rebalance my demo armies.
  • Math is hard.
  • Planning has started for this year's RastlCon.
  • I need to redesign the RastlCon website.  I'll probably go WordPress.
  • I got additional XP in our last game because of role playing.  I guess I need to start drinking early every game!
  • I might go to the renaissance faire in costume if one of my friends wants to go that way.
  • I need to find my old renaissance faire costume.
  • I hope I still fit into my old renaissance faire costume.
  • This year is the 25th anniversary of the Court at the renaissance faire.  I was in Court for 5 years.  Odds-on money is that I'm not contacted/invited.
  • I want to try learning to use the roller blades I bought for my first midlife crisis again.
  • I'm afraid to try learning to use the roller blades I bought for my first midlife crisis again.
  • My friend Kris is responsible for me wanting to try to learn to use the roller blades I bought for my first midlife crisis again.
  • Thanks Kris.
  • I was able to get rid of some of my enormous stash of foamcore recently.
  • I plan on dumping some of the remaining foamcore at the gaming store.
  • I'll need more foamcore after I reduce my stash.
  • I have no current plans to make anything with foamcore but I know I won't have enough when I do.
  • I have too many hobbies.
  • I have too many projects started.
  • I will probably start a new project yet this month.

I could probably go on but that's enough for now,

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